lakesign

Economy Growth, Tax Tips & Why People Move

The economy is poised for a pickup in growth in 2015 amid a strengthening employment sector, rising income growth, and declining commodity prices, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group. Strong Job Growth Foreshadows Solid Full-Year Economic Growth – Fannie Mae Why first-time homebuyers will make a comeback in 2015 – Fortune Wage…




fort-lawton-view_Credit_PUGET SOUND BUSINESS JOURNAL

High Rents, Historic Homes For Sale & Engineer Bubble?

After dragging on for 18 months, the sale of Fort Lawton’s historic officer houses in Seattle’s Discovery Park has closed, and the new owner plans to refurbish the residences and sell them.  ~  Photo Source: Puget Sound Business Journal Soon you’ll be able to buy one of the historic homes in Discovery Park  – PSBJ…




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MLS Market Update: February 2015

Spring market “not waiting for tulips” but limited inventory frustrates homebuyers KIRKLAND, Washington (Feb. 5, 2015) – Home sales this super bowl season outpaced a year ago as sidelined buyers emerged to compete for limited inventory, according to brokers who commented on January activity. New figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show year-over-year increases in…




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First-Time Buyers & Foreign Investors

Using data from NAR’s 2006-2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, we can examine how the demographics of first-time homebuyers have changed over the last 9 years. What do these numbers show us about the diversity of buyers, and what insight can they provide for the future? How are first-time homebuyers becoming more diverse? –…




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Refi Time For Equity Rich Homeowners

About 20 percent of all properties with a mortgage – or 11.3 million — are now considered “equity rich,” with home owners who have at least 50 percent positive equity in their properties. The number has been steadily climbing, up from 9.1 million a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report…




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Seattle Reshaped By Tech… Again

According to a new report, Seattle is the best city in the country to find a job. What were the criteria for Seattle to gain the top spot? WalletHub.com said it “analyzed 150 of the most populated U.S. cities across 16 key metrics. They range from job opportunities to employment growth.” Seattle is best city…




housing 2015

Strong Sales & Low Supply End 2014

King County’s housing market ended 2014 with a flurry of sales, but with the lowest supply of active listings in any month going back more than a decade. Flurry of year-end home sales brings strong finish to 2014 – Seattle Times Supply of homes for sale falls even more  – Seattle PI Puget Sound region…




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MLS Market Update: January 2015

Local real estate leader calls December “One of best on record” KIRKLAND, Washington (Jan. 6, 2015) – Real estate brokers around Western Washington reported a strong finish to 2014. December’s sales outpaced the same month a year ago by double digits, according to new figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. “December was one of the…




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3% Down, High Rents & The Sandwich Returns

Today Freddie Mac launched Home Possible AdvantageSM, a new affordable mortgage with a down payment option as low as 3%. Here are the answers to your top questions: “Who is this mortgage for?”  “What do I need to qualify for it?”  “Can I use gift funds as my down payment?” 3% Down: Your Top Questions…




MarketstoWatch1

Prices Up, Consumers Upbeat & Dropbox Drops Into Seattle

Consumers think 2015 will be a better year than 2014, especially for selling a home. But the recovery will slow as the rebound effect fades before fundamentals become strong. Key markets to watch are in the Northeast, South, and West. Housing In 2015: Consumers Upbeat, But Recovery Faces A Tricky Handoff – Forbes The U.S. economy,…




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MLS Market Update: December 2014

KIRKLAND, Washington (Dec. 4, 2014) – Buyer interest remains high and many good values exist for those whose holiday wish list includes a new home, according to brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service. A new report from the MLS summarizing November activity shows year-over-year gains in pending sales, closed sales and median prices. The report…




seattle in progress

Expensive Places, Choosy Buyers & Seattle Progress

Seattle in Progress is a mobile web app for seeing what’s being built in Seattle. Think of it as a modern alternative to the “notice of proposed land use” boards currently posted at construction sites. These signs, often covered in graffiti, offer minimal information about the development and no easy way to learn more, voice…




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Mortage Fraud, Tax Limbo, Apple Comes To Ballard & Low Low Rates

There are unconfirmed reports that Apple has opened a temporary office in Ballard in a Regus facility, 1455 N.W. Leary Way. News site GeekWire reported that Apple is operating in Ballard. Apple takes a bite out of Ballard. What’s next? – PSBJ Mortgage-debt relief twists in tax limbo – Seattle Times Average US 30-year loan…




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MLS Market Update: November 2014

Brokers say home buyers are back, but they’re choosy KIRKLAND, Washington (Nov. 5, 2014) – Home buyers are back, and they’re savvy and selective, according to officials who commented on the latest statistics from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. For sellers, that means pricing a home correctly at the start is vital, said industry veteran Kathy…




water

Remember the Water Mantra – OFF Your Roof and AWAY from Your Home

Pop quiz! How many gallons of water does the average-sized Seattle roof (1,000 square feet) shed during the course of the year? If you guessed 35,000 gallons – kudos! You are correct! In Seattle we are faced with consistent rainfall and this can pose a myriad of issues if the moisture penetrates your home. The…




http://www.placearchitects.com/

So Long QE3, Salt Signals More Condo Construction & ‘Coming Soon’ Expands

Fed ends QE3 and sends upbeat signals on economy – Market Watch Fed Stimulus Over: What About Interest Rates? – Nation Association of Realtors The Federal Reserve has ended its bond-purchasing program, known as “quantitative easing,” saying it is confident in the economic recovery. Since 2008, the Fed has been purchasing mortgages and Treasurys that…




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The Appraisal Process Made Clear

The appraisal process can raise many questions.  Especially when the value comes back from the appraiser below the purchase price.  Below are a few commonly asked questions with answers from the National Realtor Association. Q. Will the homebuyer receive a copy of the appraisal? A. Yes. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) requires creditors to…




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Alibaba, SLU & Better Mornings Ahead

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba may have quietly opened an office in downtown Seattle, in competitor Amazon’s own backyard.  And other headlines: Alibaba ramps up recruiting for Seattle office – PSBJ Market turmoil: A gift for mortgage refinancers? – AP Three big new words in Seattle real estate: ‘South Lake Union’ – Seattle PI Redfin buys…




pmms_chart 10.24.2014

Mortage Rates Haven’t Been This Low Since 2013

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing average fixed mortgage rates hitting fresh lows for the year for the second consecutive week amid declining bond yields. At 3.92 percent the average 30-year fixed rate is at its lowest level since the week of June 6, 2013. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage…




forclosure

Tight Spaces, Descendants, Forget Foreclosures & Oops Wrong Lot

Foreclosure Niche Is a Vanishing Business – NAR First-ever affordable housing tax gets nod from Seattle council – PSBJ Developer promises new condos in downtown Seattle – PSBJ Scrunched in Seattle – Politico Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 3.97 percent – AP Fannie, Freddie to Loosen Up on Lending – NAR In Ocean Hammock,…




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Development tax in Seattle, micro-housing & a walk around Green Lake

A few links from today’s office meeting topics… ‘Serious concerns’ raised about plan to tax Seattle developers for affordable housing – PSBJ Seattle council approves micro-housing rules – KING 5 Belmont Court condo showcases the powers of good staging – Curbed Green Lake Pathway of Lights – December 13th!